DEADMANEATING.COM recently found a cache of last meals from 2002 that were not listed on the site (we started in Oct 2oo2). We will use this slow period to try and update a few missing ones.
OHIO LAST MEAL
JOHN W. BYRD JR.
February 19, 2oo2
Last Meal: Byrd chose a T-bone steak with steak sauce, a chef salad with bleu cheese dressing and grape soda for his "special" meal, which he was to eat in the afternoon. It's not called his last meal because he would be allowed to eat later if he were hungry.
He awoke about 5:13 a.m., shaved and showered but did not eat his pancake and grits breakfast, instead drinking grape soda and smoking Newport cigarettes.
The skinny: John W. Byrd Jr. died by injection on Tuesday, the first inmate executed since Ohio reinstated the death penalty in 1981 to claim he was innocent.
Shortly before his death, Byrd told his family that he loved them and to "stay strong."
"The corruption of the state will fall," he said. "Governor Taft, you will not be re-elected. The rest of you, you know where you can go."
More skinny: Byrd was executed across the chamber from the electric chair he had chosen as his method of death to protest what he said was the brutality of capital punishment.
Byrd's choice of execution was removed in November when Gov. Bob Taft signed a bill that banned the use of the electric chair. The Legislature's decision to retire the chair stemmed in part from Byrd's request. The chair had not been used for an Ohio execution since 1963 and has yet to be removed from the prison.
Byrd, 38, was sentenced to die for the murder of a man, who was working in a suburban Cincinnati convenience store in 1983 to save money for his daughter's education.
Byrd maintained he was innocent and that an accomplice, John Brewer, confessed to stabbing the man during a robbery. Prosecutors and Attorney General Betty Montgomery argued that since Brewer already was serving a life sentence and could not be tried again, he was lying to protect Byrd.
Byrd claimed that he did not remember the events of the night of the slaying because he had passed out as a result of drinking and taking drugs.
More than a dozen protesters stood outside the prison Tuesday morning.
Byrd's execution was only the third in Ohio since 1963. All have taken place in the past three years.